Effectively Manage Your Farm Employees

Updated: Nov 15, 2019

Getting the right people to work on your farm is hard, and keeping them is harder. Employees need to be satisfied and motivated to perform well, this places great importance on the role of the farm manager. Having the right strategy helps with employee management to improve productivity. These strategies will ensure employee satisfaction and motivation.

1. Discover the Goals (Personal/Professional) of your Employees

Find out the goals and milestones your farm employees have set for themselves. This is not just professional, learn about their personal goals like health, family and all other areas of their life.

This is important because they are motivated by these goals and every decision they make impacts these goals. Understanding their goals assist to align their goals with their work and determine the kind of rewards suited to different employees.

2. Match Right People with the Right Jobs

It is not enough to have the right people working for you, they must be doing the right jobs. Their job description should match their technical knowledge and personal strengths. For example, an employee who isn’t tech savvy shouldn’t be the lead on tech operations on your farm

Ensure that the right people are in the right jobs, it creates job satisfaction and motivates employees.

3. Set and Communicate Performance Standards

Performance standards give a sense of direction to your employees. Let them know what they are to do, when, how and to what quality. Performance standards should be specific to individuals and teams. Set goals and tasks to be achieved, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually.

This creates a sense of purpose and a basis to judge employee performance and feedback.

4. Provide and Receive Feedback.

This should be a regular exercise on your farm. Inform your employees about their performance and get feedback about their challenges in accomplishing their tasks. This creates a two-way communication channel, where they are aware of their performance and you are aware of the challenges faced.

Feedback should be specific to individuals and teams.

5. Training and Development

You should have learning culture on your farm. Train your employees on what they need to know to function optimally, create learning opportunities to grow through in-house training, seminars and conferences.

Don’t underestimate your employees drive to learn, teach the how and why, and encourage personal development. It is important to develop those you hire.

6. Encourage Teamwork

Employees want to work in an environment that is safe and secured, where their rights are respected, and they are free to express themselves. This environment can be threatened by dis-unity amongst workers.

A healthy atmosphere centred on support for each other and a team culture brings job satisfaction. Create a reporting-communication channel between shifts, don’t allow one shift blame the others, organise social events to encourage more interaction between your workers and emphasise on unity.

7. Give Responsibility to Your Employees

You don’t want to be the only one making all the decisions and bringing the ideas. Encourage employees’ ideas and listen to them, allow them to recommend or make decisions, allow them to be part of the solution.

Encourage leadership and employees’ input on your farm. This gives a sense of ownership to them.

8. Cut the Negative and Incompetent Workers

This is a tough one, but it is business. Employees that are repeatedly under-performing, after motivation and training should be relieved of their duties. Untrustworthy employees, employees with negative attitudes, causing trouble and disunity on your farm should be let go.

Safeguard the atmosphere on your farm and maintain the quality of your farm by relieving incompetent and negative workers of their jobs.

Your employees are humans with emotions and other responsibilities aside from your farm. They should be treated with respect and allowed to work under favourable conditions that support their goals or ambition. Employee Motivation is easy when they are understood and a right strategy is employed.

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